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Winter Road Safety

Winter Road Safety

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Road safety winter checklist

Winter driving checklist

Many of us know the importance of road safety and will drive carefully. However routes we use regularly where driving can become second nature, can be unpredictable in the winter and we can get caught out. Driving conditions change quickly with snow and ice, heavy rain and poor visibility on the roads. We’d like you to take extra care when planning your journey and adapt your driving style to suit the road conditions.

We’d like to help you keep safe when you’re on the roads over the winter - always ask yourself if the journey is necessary!
Preparation and adaptation is important.

Here’s a useful check list of things to consider before you venture out this winter:

Things to have in your car for emergencies:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer.

  • Torch and spare batteries.

  • Boots and warm clothes and blankets - for you and all passengers.

  • First aid kit.
  • Jump start cables.

  • Food and a warm drink in a thermos.

  • Shovel.

  • Reflective warning sign and high-visibility vest.

  • Road atlas.

  • Mobile phone and charger.

Before setting off please consider these:

  • Have you cleaned all windows and wing mirrors using a scraper and de-icer?

  • Do you have enough screen wash?

  • Is there snow on the top of your car? (Breaking sharply could cause snow to slip down and obscure your view).

  • Check exterior lights – are they clean and working?

  • Check that your vehicle is equipped with a Hi-Visibility vest and warning triangle.

  • Carry a mobile phone in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey - but keep it in the glove box! More drivers are using car journeys as an excuse to switch phones off!

  • Allow for extra travelling time in tricky weather conditions, listen to weather forecasts.

  • Ask yourself 'is the trip really necessary?'

When you’re driving in difficult weather please consider:

  • Always use the seatbelt

  • Using dipped headlights in poor visibility.

  • Driving slower compared to 'normal' driving conditions.

  • Keep a safe stopping distance behind the vehicle in front.

  • It takes much longer to stop in wet or icy conditions.

  • Avoid distractions – especially your mobile phone

  • Avoid harsh braking, acceleration and steering.

  • Keep a careful watch out for other road users especially motorcyclists, pedal cyclists and young pedestrians.

  • If you get into trouble, try not to abandon your vehicle, stay with it until help arrives.

  • If you are forced to leave your vehicle make yourself visible by wearing a high-visibility vest.

Useful links:

Did you know?

Kent Fire and Rescue Service has an exciting centre to help young people stay safe on the roads. It’s called the Road Safety Experience and is free. If you have young people in your life, you can encourage their schools, colleges or community groups to book a visit.

Are your tyres winter ready
Speed is not the answer
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